Horses and their riders must work as a team in order to take home the gold in a horse show.
KX News caught up with one rider who’s relatively new to the world of technical riding, to see how she and her horse prepare for a win.
“For me, it started with just a love of horses as a little girl. I’d ride my plastic pony down in the basement with my flannel nightgown on and pretend I was running through fields,” says Holly Lund, Horse Show Competitor.
Once her kids were grown, she decided to fulfill her dream by purchasing her own horse.
“It’s something that takes all your stress and worries away and helps you in all aspects of life,” says Lund.
This was her second time competing in the Trail event, and her horse, Ivy’s first.
“There are some obstacles: a bridge, a gate, side-passing over a pole, and then you have to change gaits on your horse from a walk to a trot or lope. You have to get through the pattern as error-free as possible,” says Lund.
Each rider and their horse starts with a score of 70 and it either goes up or down from there depending on how they ride.
“Ticking a log, dropping a gate, stepping out of a box, anything that’s a no-no as far as the obstacle’s concerned,” says Joni Haner, Horse Show Judge.
Each of these penalties can cost the team points.
Having a horse familiar with the obstacles and a calm rider can make a big difference.
“I’d have to put 90% of it on the rider,” says Lund.”
That’s one area Lund is working hard to improve upon.
“Horses are extremely perceptive. If you’re nervous, they’re feeling it and they get nervous. Once you exhale and take a breath and relax a little bit, your horse does the same. It’s amazing,” says Lund.
Each year, the bond becomes stronger.
“I like judging shows from year-to-year and I can see improvement in riders and horses. It’s fun to watch,” says Haner.
That’s why you’ll find Lund on her horse, spending time together and working on skills.
The next horse show by the Minot Trail Riders will be on August 17th with their Extreme Obstacle Challenge.